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HQ 952499

March 26, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952499 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 9033.00.00

Mr. Dennis J. Riley
Elliott, Bray & Riley
1225 I Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20005-3914

RE: Chart Drive Assemblies; HQ 088743 (IA 11/91); HQ 950834; heading 8501; EN 85.01; heading 9025; heading 9026; NY 881722; Note 2 to chapter 90

Dear Mr. Riley:

This is in response to your letter of August 31, 1992, on behalf of Sonceboz Corporation (Sonceboz), requesting the classification of chart drive assemblies under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The articles in question are two types of drive assemblies for use in data recording instruments. The first, the CDS 820, is a circular drive assembly that consists of an electric motor, microprocessor-based control circuit, plastic housing, mounting plate, hub, chart paper mounting plate and circular chart paper. The second, the 420, is a strip drive assembly that consists of a metal housing on which rests a flat, rectangular metal plate, as well as two plastic spools, on either end, which hold graphic recording paper.

The assemblies are mounted into various pen-based recording instruments used to monitor variable factors, such as, temperature, pressure, flow rate, etc. They can be inserted into barographs, hydrographs, medical apparatus and other such measuring instruments. There are four classes of drive assemblies: (1) spring wound drives; (2) pneumatic drives; (3) battery quartz-electric drives; and (4) A.C. electric drives.


Whether drive assemblies used on data recording instruments should be classified as electric motors under heading 8501, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

In HQ 088743, dated May 10, 1991 (IA 11/91), certain drive assemblies were classified under heading 8501, HTSUS, which provides for electric motors. You contend that the holding in HQ 088743 is erroneous, and argue that the assemblies should be classified in one of the following Chapter 90 headings:

9025 Hydrometers and similar floating instruments, thermometers, pyrometers, barometers, hygrometers and psychrometers, recording or not, and any combination of these instruments; parts and accessories thereof

9026 Instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases (for example, flow meters, level gauges, manometers, heat meters), . . . parts and accessories thereof

9033 Parts and accessories (not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter) for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of chapter 90

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

EN 85.01, pg 1333, states that "[e]lectric motors are - 3 -
machines for transforming electrical energy into mechanical power." Of the four classes of drive assemblies, two, the pneumatic and spring wound assemblies, do not contain electric motors or any electrical components. As such, these assemblies cannot be classified under heading 8501, HTSUS.

As for the remaining drive assemblies, this office stated, in HQ 950834, dated March 6, 1992, "[t]he Explanatory Notes and the rulings interpreting Heading 8501, HTSUS, make it clear that electric motors equipped with additional components, remain classifiable in this heading, even if those components are 'quite substantial.'" We then held that "an electric motor is classifiable under Heading 8501, HTSUS, even when imported with additional components (other than those listed in EN 85.01) if:

(1) those additional components complement the function of the motor . . .;
(2) those additional components are devices which motors are commonly equipped . . .;
(3) those additional components serve merely to transmit the power the motors produce . . . [emphasis in original]."

The additional components of the circular (e.g., chart paper mounting plate, circular chart paper) and strip drive (e.g., plastic spools, graphic recording paper) assemblies do not serve merely to complement the function of the motor, nor do they serve merely to transmit the power the motor produces. Rather, the drive assemblies contain the actual mechanism or device the motors serve to power. Moreover, the additional components are not devices which motors are commonly equipped. For these reasons, the electrically powered assemblies in question are not classifiable under heading 8501, HTSUS.

The holding in HQ 088743 does not control the classification of every article described as a "chart drive" or "chart drive assembly." Rather, it controls the classification of those chart drives described as "gear motors specifically designed for installation in measurement recording instruments." The assemblies in question have been advanced beyond simple "gear motors."

You claim that the drive assemblies that will be incorporated into temperature recorders upon importation are classifiable under heading 9025, HTSUS, and that the drive assemblies that will be incorporated into pressure recorders are classifiable under heading 9026, HTSUS.

Note 2 to chapter 90 states that parts and accessories for
articles of this chapter are to be classified as follows:

(a) Parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this chapter or of chapter 84, 85 or 91 . . . are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings; (b) Other parts and accessories, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, instrument or apparatus, or with a number of machines, instruments or apparatus of the same heading . . . are to be classified with the machines, instruments or apparatus of that kind;
(c) All other parts and accessories are to be classified in heading 9033 [emphasis added].

Since the assemblies in question are incorporated into systems that measure temperature, pressure, flow and other such variables not covered by a single heading, as well as being used in certain medical apparatus, they cannot be classified as instruments of heading 9025 or 9026, HTSUS. Further, the assemblies are not "goods included" in any other heading of chapter 84, 85, 90 or 91, nor are they suitable for use solely or principally with a particular instrument, or number of instruments, of a single heading. Thus, according to note 2(c) to chapter 90, the circular and strip assemblies are classifiable in the "basket" provision for parts of chapter 90 under subheading 9033.00.00, HTSUS. See NY 881722.


The circular and strip drive assemblies are classifiable under subheading 9033.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[p]arts and accessories (not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter) for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of chapter 90." The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 4.9% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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